Can You Say Coalition?

Face.JPEG

So count up the number of times the word coalition was thrown around last night in the DNC Presidential Debate. 


Every last sentence to every question asked was like: 


We need a coalition to defeat ISIS.


We need a coalition outside the U.S. to defeat terrorists grabbing land, and inside the U.S. to defeat the lone attackers. 


We need a coalition for climate change. 


We need a coalition to get our economy back on track.


We need a coalition to better regulate guns. 


We need a coalition on immigration reform. 


Of course, as the superpower, we can’t seem to do anything for ourselves anymore. 


We are disengaged, leading from behind, and have no real answers to any of the big problems we face. 


No matter that we have been using a coalition to fight ISIS these last number of years, and success has been marginal at best as they keep recruiting on social media. 


No matter that we can’t get binding agreements with Iran as they shoot off new ballistic missiles capable of carrying nukes into the ether, or on global warming because each country in the end will do what they want in their own best interests. 


No matter that ISIS, Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea does what they want and don’t need permission, forgiveness, or anything from anybody–they pursue what is good for them and they are relentless in getting it. 


No matter that we constantly show fear and weariness and helplessness in the face of our enemies that have the resolve, patience, and determination to fight as long as it takes and do whatever it takes to win. 


One candidate spurted something about, “Do you know how many coalitions I’ve put together” or “I’ve been putting together coalitions for years” (like that has achieved what exactly)?”


Terrorism is on the rise from Paris to California, ISIS is on the move grabbing up territory from Iraq and Syria and now even in Libya, the world is an unstable powder keg from Taiwan to Sudan, and our problems at home are growing worse (national debt, racial discord, etc.)


Oh, we need to get Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Iraq to step up to the plate, so said another one of the candidates last night. 


But we spend billions and billions training them, and they are happy to take the American dollars, but when the first shot is fired, the troops head for the hills…why should they get killed fighting a war that we care about and against their own brothers.


You can’t relegate your problems to others or ask others to pick up your slack, while you sit back and drop some bombs from the air–la la la la. 


Are we in a complete and utter leadership void and stupor?


Coalitions are only effective when there is leadership and resolve.


Coalitions are a cop-out when we are stymied to fight for ourselves, to stand up for our beliefs and values, to demonstrate we are committed, and to lead the charge. 


Cowardice will lose the war and much else…if we don’t get off the coalition’s dime. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Global Chaos But G-d Is On Watch

We are continuing to see the number 613 (a critical number representing G-d’s commandments to us in the Torah).


I wrote about this in my post last month (Nov 26).


Yesterday, I randomly looked up at this guy cleaning in front of one of the GW University buildings and there it is…613. 


On Sunday, we stopped for something to eat (see receipt total with the scrambled 613 in it)…$16.38.


The principle of divine intervention in everything we do in our lives is a paramount religious belief, and in Judaism, we learn that not a leaf falls from the tree without it coming from G-d. 


The times we are living in is certainly not normal with terror and war on nearly every horizon (ISIS, Iran, Russia, North Korea, and China to name just a few around the globe), a growing threat from WMD, the economy in shambles, government debt exploding, energy, mining, and other commodities in free-fall, and global warming continuing to heat things up


Further, with immense conflict and political dysfunction in how to deal with these challenges, and amazingly little to no resolve to seemingly even address many of them at all, the views and positions are moving toward extremes and the people’s emotions seem to range from generalized frustration to genuine fury.


The story isn’t over on all these fronts for America or the rest of the world, but I believe even if leadership’s heart is hardened and progress seems almost completely stymied in the face of emerging global chaos, G-d is watching and guiding things very closely at this historic time. 😉


(Source Photos: Andy and Dossy Blumenthal)

King Kong Puzzle

King Kong

I took this photo in the local hobby store. 


It’s a 3-D puzzle of the Empire State Building and at the top, King Kong holding onto the antenna!


Looks like a few pieces fell out of the building about 3/4 of the way up.


Or is that where ISIS terrorists blow their next hole in our skyscrapers again (G-d Forbid). 


With our retrenchment from the front lines all over the world–with the exception of some targeted drone strikes (actually very well done)–we are again at risk of letting the terrorists get the upper hand. 


We need strength and resolve–not lifting of sanctions, closing of Guantanamo, and withdrawal from the fight. 


Take them down, before they come to our shores–this is a fight that is multigenerational and there is no retreat from the top of the world when fighting for freedom and human rights. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Fist With Parachute

Fist In Parachute
I took this photo in Miami yesterday.


A fist attached to a parachute. 


Sort of a strange image of strength, fighting, and resolve with making a safe landing. 


Perhaps that’s the intersection of defense and diplomacy.


Where we employ soft and hard power to achieve worthy goals and follow one’s moral compass. 


My grandfather used to joke that he would come with the big stick if anyone bothers us. 


He, like my dad, was a very good man! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Decide To Win

Stop Fighting
This was an interesting sign + sticker in Washington, D.C.



It asks to Stop Fighting Congress or perhaps stop the fighting in Congress.



The point is to come together and collaborate for a better decision, rather than have bad decisions made by just one side or have indecision altogether.



The New York Times had an Op-Ed over the weekend called The Great Unraveling about how we are living amidst hatred, fighting, disintegration, disease, and disorientation. 



And we are watching it as if dazed and confused–paralyzed as a nation taking maybe a baby step here or there, but with seemingly no solid committment to do anything to really change, improve, better, or win. 



Scared by lost lives and treasure since 9/11…we cannot bear to lose or waiver in our resolve because of weariness or despair.



Their is a lot to get done…for ourselves and future generations.



We’ve got to stop fighting our demons and each other and instead face up, man up, to the myriad of global problems that confront us. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

U.S. To Give Up U.S.?

U.S. To GIVE UP U.S.

This is just ridiculous already…I mean why do we even bother to try, if as a nation we are just resigned to give up.

1. Russia takes Crimea and the U.S. has “no options,” instead of considering a variety of meaningful options–will Putin stop with Crimea, Georgia, Chechnya if there is virtually nothing standing in his way?

2. Syrian civil war goes on for almost 3 years and takes 150,000 lives and the U.S. has “few options,” while Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, Saudi Arabia seem to have and be exploiting lots of options.

3. “U.S. to give up Web oversight” since other governments have complained over our “unique influence”–well darn it, we invented the Internet, why shouldn’t we capitalize on it?

4. Serious “deficit reduction is dead” even though the national deficit continues to grow and threaten the national security of this country, but there are few acknowledged options for politicians that want to get re/elected, except to continue the runaway gravy train.

5. Space exploration to other planets–NASA shelves it–“Space, the final frontier…to boldly go where no man has gone before,” but we’re not really going!

6. Defense cuts threaten U.S. military as the “U.S. faces a more volatile, more unpredictable world,” and even as China ramps up its military budget by 12.2%.

7. Despite the potentially catastrophic impact that a serious cyber attack would have on the U.S. national security and economy, “the U.S. military is not prepared for cyber warfare“-why are we waiting for the proverbial lights to go out?

8. Outsourcing jobs outside the U.S. has already become cliche–with top U.S. Corporations sending more than 2.4 million American jobs overseas between 2002-2011–as our own labor force participation is now at a 30-year low!

I don’t understand what has happened to our national resolve to succeed, to lead, to be a good example in the world.

Why are we in global retreat–instead of steadfastly protecting and growing our national strategic interests in every domain?

We are innovators, entrepreneurs, skilled in every worldly affair, and lovers of freedom and human rights for all, yet we have become gun shy, afraid, and reticent to be ourselves and do what we do best–which is to do what’s right, what needs to be done, and to be global leaders in progress toward the future.

If we can’t do this, if we have just given up, if we have become ostriches with our heads in the sand–then we haven’t just given up on this or that or the other thing–but we have given up on being the U.S. of A.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)